I'm sitting here in Carroll Gardens (by far one of my fav place I've lived here in NYC, but Williamsburg is a close toss up), going through what will be the last 20 recipes to go in The Flower Chef, looking over images, weeding them out, and seeing which will make the cut. I'm on my second cup of coffee, and my Italian flatmate is working on her computer in the next room, getting ready for her photography show. I'm saving 10 spots for innovations from now until the manuscript is due. In fact, we have a "Beach Gothic" Photoshoot coming up next month in Malibu, and by accident I discovered a new trick during one of our events a couple weeks ago! I know the event designer Stacey is apprehensive about the bouquet I'm making for it, noting that the test experiments looked "interesting", but in my mind I know how it will look and am really excited about it. This is why I get paid the big bucks;) Kidding!
I know I have mentioned this a million times before but I just cannot get over what a year it's been. Those close to me know the journey, and WOW! When I think back to New Year's 2013, geez, I could've never imagined closing the year in such a wonderful way. I have one of my dear friends in from Hong Kong, and my good friend Tara from MakeUp Therapy is coming in on NYE. We're hitting up the city for a fun night out! Dance, dance, dance!
I've been working around the clock on the book (in between more projects than I care to list), and it's kind of like the process of selling it. The amount of work seems daunting, overwhelming, but you keep chipping away, and then one day you look at the progress you've made, and say to yourself, Well it wasn't as hard as I thought, and I'm so close to the finish line, I can't believe it! I'm very proud of the content. I taught my last two group classes at Brooklyn Brainery yesterday (both sold out!), and when people ask for more details on what I've taught or something else, I cannot wait until I can say, Here read this book! The biggest challenge has been keeping the recipes, tone, and focus of the book on what it is meant to do, which is teach the average person floral design using grocery store flowers that they can make in their kitchen, using my tricks-of-the-trade. I've veered slightly towards more challenging designs, and then think, would people actually make this? There's a few in there that may be a bit more unrealistic, but since this book is for people that want to be florists too, I think it's important to know the skills behind those designs, for future use.
I recently gave a talk to a NFTE school in Chelsea, where the kids comes in from all over, mainly the Bronx. If you look at the pic on my Instagram, I kind of resemble Michelle Pfiefer in Dangerous Minds. They were so great, and full of compliments (Damn! You look goooood for thirty! OOooooh I love your eyebrows!!!! Cute shirt Carly!!!!:) It was really special to talk with the 9th graders about businesses, their dreams, and hear what makes them tick (mainly being my friend on Instagram in turns out). It was really a joy to get to talk to them, and something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I've realized that what inspires me and keeps me going is inspiring others to keep on going. I think we can be surrounded with skepticism, cynicism, and not shoot high enough. There's a brilliant article I read about how much pain you're willing to go through in order to achieve the equal amount of happiness. For instance, the struggle in business may be high, be the rewards are equally high once you attain a certain level. Finding real love will require a lot of pain, pain that some would rather not go through and instead settle for something that's ultimately unfulfilling because the fear of pain or loneliness is too high, too much of a risk. Here's the article by Mark Manson, and one of the most amazing articles I've read that really explains how we're built and makes sense of the madness that us entrepreneurs, creators, visionaries, put ourselves through! I know it resonated with my brother Matt, who struggled a lot when he first moved to NYC and a couple years later, is thriving as a freelance photographer, digital tech, and lighting assistant.
It's been such a wonderful experience living close to Matt. We're going to do an early-bird dinner on New Years Eve, and we're all just such old souls, it's a lot of fun. Turkey dinner at 5pm, please!
Some things in the pipeline include working with national brands on endorsements (!!!!) and commercials, selling my show Dug Up or a DIY that will air as webisodes, creating apparel for Patricia Field, and finishing a screenplay that I do on the side. Every time I write it, it feels like meeting up with an old friend, and is cathartic for me.
I'm heading back to LA in Jan for a few weeks. I get to meet with a new freelance designer, and teach a few classes. Perhaps a quick trip to San Fran or Big Bear. We're also doing set flowers for an animal protection PSA that is Africa-themed, which will be a lot of fun. Me and themes! I'm just so excited to spend time with friends. After living in LA 10 years, that's definitely my home and place of contentment. NYC will always be the best place for creativity and art, which will be great to come back to in late Jan (despite the burrrrr cold!). So another bicoastal year ahead, and I'm just so excited for 2014. The year of 30 has been so amazing, these past few months have filled my soul, and I know this decade ahead will be even more FUN than the last. The youth has not been wasted on the young in my case!
So that's that. A bit of creative writing, a bit of train of thought, a bit of reflection. I'm going to get ready now to pop over to the Brooklyn Museum for the much talked about and inspiring Gautier exhibit. Although I'm not particularly stylish (though I do LOVE having someone dress me!!!), I'm most inspired by high-style fashion. I'm sure as soon as I return I'll finish the flower jacket.
And with that, I say, enjoy the rest of 2013. Do something for yourself that makes you happy:) I'm thankful for you, and if you're reading this, for your dedication to my superfluous rambling:) Ciao bella!
The Flower Chef
How Did She Do That